• Austria's news in English
Every second schoolchild in Vienna not a native speaker
A special class for refugee children in Vienna. Photo: ORF

Every second schoolchild in Vienna not a native speaker

The Local · 18 Feb 2016, 11:00

Published: 18 Feb 2016 11:00 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

With the number of migrant families in the capital increasing last year, Integration Minister Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) has called for a "rational solution".

Currently, foreign-born residents in Vienna make up 33 percent of the population, and this is expected to increase to more than 40 percent by 2035.

In Vienna’s Kindergartens around 58 percent of children don’t speak German as their mother language. Statistics show that children from migrant families tend to have a disadvantage when it comes to education, with the majority going on to attend vocational schools rather than gymnasium and then university.  

Austrians with higher qualifications generally have better employment opportunities and earnings increase as an adult’s level of education and skills increase.

In Vienna 47.5 percent of school pupils say that they don’t speak German at home. Kurz wants to introduce special German classes for children who speak it as a second language. "Only when children have a sufficient grasp of German, should they be allowed to join regular classes," he said. He added that this shouldn’t be “an emergency solution” but was the only "rational solution".

A report last year from the OECD showed that Austria spent €4.5bn in 2013 on tertiary education, yet literacy skills remain poor compared with other industrialised countries.

Asylum seekers who have been granted leave to remain in Austria will soon have their benefits cut if they don’t attend German courses and show that they are willing to look for work.

There are currently 2,300 refugee children attending school in Vienna and since the start of the year ten ‘New to Vienna’ classes have been set up especially for refugee children, which are designed to enable them learn German as quickly as possible.

Story continues below…

Education experts have admitted that it is a major challenge to make sure refugee children can be speedily integrated into Austrian schools. There is also a need for private tutors, trauma counsellors and violence prevention courses.

Vienna city council has said it plans to increase the number of social workers and psychologists working within schools - and has pledged to set aside €24 million for this purpose.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
ECJ puts brakes on deportation of Iraqi family
Photo: ORF

An Iraqi family threatened with deportation has been granted a brief reprieve after the European Court of Justice recommended they be allowed to stay in Austria for the time being.

Flats evacuated after man swallows explosive substance
A decontamination squad was ordered in. Photo: MA 68 Lichtbildstelle

A block of flats in Vienna had to be evacuated after a suicidal resident swallowed a highly toxic and explosive substance.

'Horror clown' threatens bus driver in Vienna's Donaustadt
Pennywise, the original scary clown from the movie It. Photo: Warner Bros

A man disguised as a ‘horror clown’ threatened a bus driver in Vienna’s Donaustadt district and vandalised the bus.

Man lived with body of murdered lover for weeks

A man has been arrested in Graz after police discovered the body of his girlfriend hidden in the shower cubicle of their rented apartment.

Austrian far-right leader brands Merkel 'dangerous'
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party has branded Angela Merkel Europe's most dangerous politician.

Austria 'horror clown' attacks leave several injured
Clown performers are not happy about the negative media stories. Photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

Several people have been injured in attacks by masked assailants dressed as 'creepy clowns' in the lead-up to Halloween.

Brunnenmarkt murder 'could have been prevented'
Locals remember the murdered woman. Photo: Wien Caritas

The random murder of a woman in Vienna could have been prevented if the homeless and mentally disturbed man who killed her had been admitted to a psychiatric institution.

Iraqi family ask ECJ to help them stay in Austria
Kumberg locals hold a vigil for the family. Photo: ORF

A group of people from Kumberg in Styria have asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for help in trying to stop the deportation of an Iraqi family.

The Local List
Five things you need to know about winter tyres
Photo: carmagazine.co.uk

It’s that time of year when temperatures start to plunge and drivers are advised to switch to winter tyres to avoid being caught out by snow and ice on the roads.

Radioactive uranium rocks on display in Austrian schools
Uraninite crystals. Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia

Education officials have carried out urgent checks in schools across the country after one of the stones on display in a classroom turned out to be radioactive.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available